There are plenty of games out there that thrust sniper rifles in our hands. I get the basic gist of it all: sit on top of a hill, lay down for the most accurate shot, hold your breath so audio designers can squeal with glee about how realistic their heartbeats sound. Having that super powerful scope and pulling off a direct headshot is always one of the most thrilling experiences any shooter can provide.
Yet these sniper segments, or classes depending on what game you are playing, are just a minor distraction from the hustle and bustle of most modern day shooters. You’re pushing for an objective, to capture a flag, you’re not really living out a real sniper experience.
“Even when armed with nothing but a sniper rifle, you can dispatch them without taking any real damage.”
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 tries to slow things down, providing a mix of realism and spectacle to create a balance of FPS tropes while delivering an authentic sniper experience. For the most part it works; this is a much slower shooter than most, the rifles are powerful, and hiding in the jungle is always a lot of fun. Unfortunately after the first few levels however, the novelty wears off to create long, drawn out campaign.
If you have played Call of Duty, or any war-based game in the past five years, you will feel right at home with Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2. You run through the jungle, play through a number of set pieces, shoot some dudes in the face and keep pressing forward. Players can slow down time by holding their breath, zoom in using their scope, and dispatch a group of enemies with ease.
Actually, that’s one of the major problems with the game, it’s far too easy. When enemies are alerted they will swarm on you, and even when armed with nothing but a sniper rifle, you can dispatch them without taking any real damage. Playing the game on the hardest difficulty helps this a little, but it becomes painfully apparent that the AI is lacking.
It does look decent however. Powered by CryENGINE 3, the same engine behind Crysis 3, Ghost Warrior 2 looks the part. Light filters in through the leaves of the jungle, water looks like actual water, and the gun models all look their part. The audio design is a little bland, with sub-standard voice actors and boring ambient sounds. I’m sitting in the jungle guys, I want to hear a bunch of jungle sounds.
CI Games has developed a multiplayer side to this sniping affair, and for the most part it’s pretty good. Laying in wait, staring at the same area for seemingly eternity, waiting for the glint to appear from someone else’s sniper scope before pulling off an impossible headshot from across the map is a satisfying event. While it will entertain some, I’m uncertain as to how long it will keep momentum up.